Carrollwood woman accused of killing her relative, sheriff’s office says

Hillsborough County

CARROLLWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has charged Debra Pais Patton, 67, in the murder of her relative.

Patton was arrested Monday afternoon, and charged with abuse of a dead human body, a second-degree felony after a wellness check turned into a death investigation after a body was found at a home in Carrollwood on Monday morning.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Crystal Clark said deputies were called to a residence in the 11000 block of Cypress Park Street to check on a woman in her 60s who hadn’t been seen or heard from in days.

Patton was living at the home when her relative went missing. Following a search of the home on Monday morning, deputies located the body of an adult victim.  

Patton now faces a charge of second degree murder with a firearm.

“Through evidence, what they found in the home, outside of the home, they were able to determine that the victim was shot and she was shot with a firearm and as a result the suspect, in this case, her charges have changed,” said Merissa Lynn with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office.

The death investigation and the charge of murder has shocked people in the normally quiet Carrollwood neighborhood.

“I’ve never seen anything that would indicate that this would come to this type of an ending,” said Michael Spinelli who lives across the street.

The Medical Examiner’s Office is working to determine the identification of the deceased and the cause of death.

Debra Patton had been held on a $5,000 bond after the initial charge. She will have a new bond hearing on Wednesday following the upgraded charge of murder.

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